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13 Things Your Partner Wants From You (But Shouldn’t Have to Ask For)

I’ve been giving relationship advice around here for a while now. In fact, Facebook just showed me today that my original interview with the KitschMix team was a full year ago – and I’m even more excited every day I get to be a part of this team.

That being said, there seems to be a lot of advice that I really shouldn’t have to give. I know there’s no such thing as an instant relationship expert, but these 13 things that – once you figure them out – you’ll wonder why you never saw it before.

Take it from me: Most relationship problems boil down to one of these 13 things.

1. She wants input in your life.

She probably doesn’t want to have her hand in everything you do, but she’s probably not just talking to hear herself talk. Listen to the advice she gives you. You’re the master of your own domain, in the end, but has she ever steered you wrong before?

2. She wants you to make an effort with your appearance.

Let’s face it – some people go through phases where they don’t care so much about their looks. I’m in one of those slumps myself right now – after gaining a bunch of weight, it’s hard for me to feel as sexy as I did when we first got together. But your girlfriend isn’t expecting you to look like you did when you were 18. She’s expecting you to try to look good for her.

3. She wants you to adore her.

Please note that “adore” does not mean the same thing as “dote on”, nor does it mean the same thing as “obsess over”. To adore your girlfriend, you simply need to take time out of your day to do the things that make her smile – simply because they make her smile.

4. She wants you to be the best version of yourself.

I’m not talking about the wealthiest, or the most spiritual, or the best in the sack. I’m talking about being the person you are destined to be, whatever your calling is. Your girlfriend wants you to set lofty goals, and then cheer you on as you reach toward them. It’s not about controlling you, it’s about helping you reach your full potential.

5. She wants you to be her cheerleader, too.

If your girlfriend, wife, or partner is pushing you extra hard to reach toward your goals, there’s a chance she’s struggling to reach her own. Unfortunately, you can’t exactly get yourself out of a hole by pushing someone else out first – you need to work together.

6. She wants you to understand what she wants from life.

Obviously, you’re not going to know what she wants every time she can’t pick a restaurant. That would just be silly. But a happy, healthy relationship requires that both partners are on the same page about the goals. You can’t push someone on the right path if you don’t know where the path is. Open the doors of communication and talk about your long-term plans, and be sure to ask about hers, too. Ask questions if you have to – she may be holding back because she thinks you won’t care!

7. She wants you to remember the little things.

Some people are really good at remembering the likes and dislikes of others, while other people are completely terrible about it. Even if you happen to fall into that second group, you can still make an effort to remember the things that are important to her – even if it’s something that seems silly, like how she takes her morning coffee.

8. She wants you to treat her like an adult.

In the heat of an argument, many people find themselves minimizing their partner in some way. After all, when we’re fighting, we’re self-serving and worrying about our own needs – which is healthy, to an extent. But if you talk to your partner like she’s a child, the only growth you’re going to have is resentment, and that’s not good for anyone.

9. She wants you to remind her that you’re an adult, too.

It’s great to have fun and do your own thing, but when doing your own thing starts to get in the way of her thing (whatever that may be), it’s time to make some grown-up decisions. Your relationship doesn’t have to come first every time, but if it never comes first, you need to ask yourself… Why not? Over time this can lead to her talking down to you, and while that’s still her bad for being condescending, you’ll need to gently remind her that there is an adult hidden in there somewhere. (And, maybe, put your inner child away for a little while.)

10. She wants your affection, encouragement, and attention.

Whether she wants to admit it or not, humans crave social interaction – and even the least social among us has some need for attention from another person. Even if she never says it, she wants you to look at her like she’s the queen of the world. She wants you to sneak a kiss whenever you can. She wants you to tell her that she’s got what it takes to make her dreams come true. Go ahead – tell her now.

11. She wants you to take her seriously.

I think we all have our little “crazy” moments from time to time. But if you care about your girlfriend, it is absolutely essential that you never make her feel like she’s crazy. What’s even worse is people who actually tell their girlfriends that they’re being crazy. Check out this history of the word “psychopath” and see if you really mean to call her that – or if you’re just being rude.

12. She wants you to be equals.

Let me make one thing clear: Being “equals” is not about who works more, who makes more money, or who does more around the house (although those are often the easiest places to start). If you and your partner are truly equals, neither of you will be “in control” of the other – and you will both be protecting, serving, and adoring one another. Don’t make it a competition – or you’ll lose every time.

13. She wants you to talk to her – about everything.

I’m the type of person to lay everything out on the table. (I’m convinced that’s why writing was a pretty good career choice for me.) Even if you’re not that type of person, an honest relationship requires that you find a way to be that kind of person, as much as you possibly can. You can’t work through problems if you refuse to acknowledge them. You can’t hang onto someone if you don’t tell her how much she means to you. And, you can’t love someone if you don’t talk to her about things. Communication has to go both ways, or it doesn’t work.


  1. Brynne

    September 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you, Barbara Ward!!

  2. Barbara Ward

    Barbara Ward

    September 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    I am so glad you enjoyed this! It meant a lot to me, too. <3

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